Toronto gay events: 5 awesome gay festivals and parties in Toronto you should check out

Stefan Arestis

Toronto is one of the most exciting gay destinations in west Canada. It has an awesome gay scene, and like the gay events in Montreal, it also has its fair share of gay events taking place each year.

These are our 5 best gay events in Toronto you should consider checking out and planning your trip around.

1. FEBRUARY: Rhubarb Festival

The Rhubarb Festival is Canada’s longest-running new works festival, taking place at the awesome Buddies in Bad Times theatre in the gay village of Toronto. It is a 10 days festival every February, which started in 1979. It has since grown from strength to strength each year, and is today funded partly by the government, partly by private sponsors.

Rhubarb is a festival where artists explore new possibilities in theatre, dance, music, and performance art. This is the place to come and see the most adventurous ideas in performance.

During the festival there are around 3/4 shows taking place, and no two nights of Rhubarb are ever alike.  For more information, check out the Rhubarb archive on the Buddies in Bad Times website.

Rhubarb festival one of gay events in Toronto

2. MARCH: SNAP! Photo Auction & Gala

SNAP! is an annual photographic fundraising event for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). It features two events: the Live and Silent Art Auction of contemporary photography, and a photo competition. Some of the works in the auction sell from $200 up to $8,000.

The proceeds from SNAP support ACT’s programs and services, increase their awareness of HIV and AIDS, and add to their art collections. Since it started in 2002, SNAP has raised over CAD$3 million in support of these programmes and services of ACT.

To find out more about SNAP, check out their website.

SNAP! one of best gay events in Toronto

3. MAY/JUNE: Inside Out LGBT Film & Video Festival

Inside Out is the largest LGBT film and video festival in Canada. It takes annually in May/June and has been going strong for over 20 years since it began in 1991. It's grown so successful that a similar annual event has been taking place in Ottawa since 2007.

The festival celebrates the best queer film from Canada and around the world and features around 200 films and videos produced by, and about, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people from around the globe.

For more information, check out the Toronto Inside Out website, and also the one for Ottawa Inside Out.

Inside Out LGBT festival one of best gay events in Toronto

4. JUNE: Toronto gay pride

Pride is perhaps the most famous of all gay events in Toronto. We love the gay pride of Montreal a lot and definitely want to experience the even bigger gay pride of Toronto, which takes place in June. It's famous for being one of the largest pride festivals in the world, with around 1 million attending.

During the Toronto gay pride festival, the Church and Wellesley gaybourhood morphs into a weekend-long open-air party venue with loads of live music, street food, beer gardens, craft stalls and theatre.

In Toronto, the whole of June is devoted to this big festival and it becomes Pride month. If ever there's a time to visit Toronto, it's during this awesome festival. For more information about what's happening during Pride, exact dates and more, check their official website.

Toronto pride one of best gay events in Toronto

5. OCTOBER: Halloween gay party

The annual Halloween party on Church Street in October is another huge gay event in Toronto worth planning your trip around. It attracts thousands of revellers, some in costume, and of course many wearing vary little.

During the Halloween party, around 3 blocks in the gay village of Toronto are pedestrianised, with the festivities starting at around 7pm and going into the early hours of the next day.

To find out when the next one is , keep an eye out on the Toronto Event Facebook page.

For more read why we think Canada is one of the most gay friendly countries in the world and watch our vlog about Toronto's gay scene:

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Happy travels are safe travels

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Stefan Arestis

Stefan is the co-founder, editor and author of the gay travel blog As a travel nerd, he has explored more than 80 countries across 5 continents. What he loves the most about travelling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends and learning new cultures. His advice about LGBTQ travel has been featured in Gay Times, Gaycities, Pink News, Gay Star News, Attitude and Towleroad. He has also written about gay travel for other non-gay specific publications including Lonely Planet, The New York Times, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. Stefan is also a qualified lawyer, having practised as a commercial property litigator in London for over 10 years. He left his lawyer days behind to work full time on Nomadic Boys with his husband Sebastien. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

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